Feb 252010
 

Leaving thoughtful comments on blog posts is reportedly a great way to drive traffic to your own blog. These seven tips for making good comments will help when you want to comment on a post, but all you can think of is “Uhhhh…..good blog post, dude!”

Here’s what ProBlogger Darren Rowse says about comments and blogging:

“I think commenting is the best part of my blogging – especially here at ProBlogger,” writes Rowse in Using Comments on Your Blog. “You see I’m not that profound or wise, but many of my readers are. Comments add value to my blog. They take my posts to the next level and often take my ideas in rewarding new directions.”

But not ALL blog comments are profound or wise, and not all blog comments lead readers to the commenter’s blog. Here are a few thoughts on making comments on blogs that inspire readers to click over and visit your blog. And for more info about making money blogging, read Rowse’s ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income – it’s a goldmine of information!

Resources for Writers

7 Tips for Making Good Comments on Blog Posts

1. Share your mistakes and weaknesses. Research shows that people who make mistakes are more likeable than those who appear to be perfect. People who make mistakes are seen as more approachable and less judgmental than perfect people – so don’t be afraid to free your foibles. For instance, if you’re commenting on a blog post about increasing traffic to your blog, you could briefly describe your experience of writing a post that made your readers flee in droves.

2. Follow up on bits of information in the blog post. This is one of my favorite tips for making small talk in person, and it works equally well for commenting on blog posts. People leave breadcrumbs as they talk and write – you need only pick them up! For example, in 10 Tips for Achieving Your Writing Goals Mark Richard Webb said that for writers to be successful, “they must be willing to do the things that most writers aren’t willing to do. They must push beyond their limits and go beyond their comfort zone.” A good comment on this blog post could flesh out what this actually means. How do writers leave their comfort zones and do things that other writers aren’t willing to do? Give examples. Offer suggestions. Ask questions.

3. Follow up on other commenters’ comments. If a previous commenter says something interesting or provocative, respond to it! Even just saying “Interesting perspective! Have you thought of ______?” can encourage interaction and make you more interesting as a blogger and person. For instance, one of my readers (Manalto) pointed out that another reader commented with the phrase “acutely aware” (“aware” on its own is sufficient — “acutely” may be unnecessary). I thought this was a very clever way to comment on my 51 Over-Used Adverbs, Nouns, and Clichés in Writing post.

4. Ask questions about the blog post. In The Personality Traits of a Successful Writer, Barb Nefer says “A writer isn’t going to get very far if she’s crushed by rejection slips or intimidated by everyone else out there who might be a better writer.” Asking questions about this or almost any statement in a post can encourage interaction and grab the blogger and blog readers’ attention. Use the standard journalist’s formula for gleaning information: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.

5. Be curious about the blogger. “People are flattered when you find them appealing – and they naturally reciprocate,” says Dr Ann Demarais, psychologist and co-author of First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You. “Showing interest in others makes you more likeable because it shows you’re confident.” And when you’re confident and likeable, you’ll attract more readers to your blog! So, ask questions about the blogger’s education, experience, lifestyle, work habits.

6. Follow up on your previous comments and questions. If you ask a question of a blogger or fellow reader, make sure you return for the answer – and offer thanks. Don’t be a “hit and run” commenter! Instead, interact with the other commenters and develop a relationship with them.

7. Show some personality in your comments. This is where your writer’s voice comes in handy, fellow scribes. To make good comments on blog posts, let your true nature, thoughts, opinions, and feelings shine through. For instance, a writer told me that the word “scribe” should be banished. That’s fair. I won’t stop using the word – but his comment did make me click over to his blog to learn more about him.

What say you about my tips for making good comments on blog posts? Good (and bad) comments welcome below!

About Me

quips tips love relationshipsI'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello and share your thoughts below. If not, go well....and don't forget to come back! :-)

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  22 Responses to “How to Make Good Comments on Blog Posts”

  1. Being a start-up company, I’ve been overwhelmed with all the Internet terminology about keywords, backlinks, SEO, adwords, and blogging strategies for our new business. This was a great article and very helpful for a novice writer who is leaving her very first blog comment here :) I notice I have a lot to say in reply to the articles, however, I tend to read most of the comments and by the end have lost the ability to form my own thoughts. I would probably suggest to newbies making comments on other people’s blogs to make your comment first and read other’s comments after.
    Thanks for the tips!

  2. I work for the http://www.theharvardwriters.com and I don’t agree with Barb Nefer who says “A writer isn’t going to get very far if she’s crushed by rejection slips or intimidated by everyone else out there who might be a better writer.”
    I believe that if the writer has real talent and the writer is confident about their work, then it doesn’t effect them whether they are praised or NOT!

    Thanks, I enjoyed reading this article and I enjoy my work.
    Amber

  3. Very nice post. Really following up to commenter’s comments makes them feel good and also creates the impression that their ideas are being considered.

  4. Funny you should say that — I just recently realized the difference between affiliate marketers and bloggers! I’m a blogger who wants to make money blogging, but I’m not a marketer.

    And yes, Darren has a lot of power in cyberspace…
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..Writing for Online Magazines – How to Find Work on the Web =-.

  5. This is a good post but a bad example, while I rate Darren R, he only has tosday the sky is orange and everyone laps it up. he is a marketer first and a blogger second.
    .-= get rankings´s last blog post ..Hello world! =-.

  6. Japinder ~ that’s a very interesting rule to have (not to leave a blog post until you comment on it).

    I discussed it above, but it’s worth repeating, especially if you’re determined to make an impression before you leave! The bit about asking a question about the writer’s perspective (“why do you think that?” “what lead you to write this post?” etc) can be so easy and interesting! Because sometimes it really is difficult to put what you think into words, especially if you haven’t had time to think about it.

    I’m glad you found me here on Quips & Tips, Japinder, and look forward to connecting with you more!

    Laurie

  7. Jennifer, thanks for asking your question — I loved answering it in this blog post!

    How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts? Tips for Blogging

    Hope it helps…and I hope you try a few tips and let me know how they worked for you….

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts? Tips for Blogging =-.

  8. Great post, really responding to your commenter comment really encourage good number of comments, its make the commenter feel important and grabbing the attention of the blog owner…

  9. It’s a helpful post Laurie. And, I agree with Charlotte (in the comments section). I too do not comment very often because I don’t feel that I’ll have anything new or intelligent to add to the discussion. For some time now, however, I’ve made it a rule to not leave a page without commenting on it. “If I’ve read it, it must have given me some thoughts, right?” I ask myself strictly and then force myself to write down exactly what my point of view about the article is. Writing always clarifies my thoughts and I usually find that I did have something to say after all.

    I still don’t follow this self-imposed rule fully, but the going is getting better.

  10. Laurie, that will be great! I can’t wait to hear your ideas!
    .-= Jennifer Wagaman´s last blog post ..Free Lesson Planning Resource =-.

  11. Great post. And now I’m nervous about commenting.

    Um …

    The point you made that I wasn’t putting into practice and now will is number 6. I must admit, I’m usually a hit-and-run commenter. I don’t ask questions, so I figure, what’s the point in subscribing to the follow up comments feed? It’ll just clutter up my inbox. But I’ll try it and see what happens. Pushing outside my comfort zone! :-)
    .-= Leigh Ann Otte´s last blog post ..Poll: What are you interested in? =-.

  12. I’m glad you leave your comfort zone, Miriam! :-)

    Jennifer, that’s a great question — how do you get readers to comment? First, you need to remember that only 1 in 100 readers actually comment on blog posts.

    I’ll write an article that answers your question fully, because I have too many ideas to for this piddly comments section! I’ll post the link here as soon as it’s published…which will be within four days…

    Cheers,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..Quips and Tips From a Published Writer, Medical Doctor and Flamenco Dancer =-.

  13. So my question is how do you encourage people to post on your blog? I follow my stats and know people are reading my blog, but no matter what I try (create controversy, ask for additional ideas, or whatever) I get precious few comments. Any ideas?
    .-= Jennifer Wagaman´s last blog post ..Firing Entire Staff of Teachers? =-.

  14. Great post. My comfort zone is a tiny place. Fortunately, I often leave it.
    .-= Miriam Drori´s last blog post ..Thaw =-.

  15. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Charlotte — I hope this post helps you comment on future posts, here and elsewhere!
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How to Set New Goals When Your Old Goals Aren’t Working =-.

  16. I agree with Darren Rowse, the comments are nearly the best part of blogging. I love when I start to get my own little tribe of regular commenters. So fun. But for a long time I was hesitate to comment on other blogs. Dumb, I know, but I think I felt I had to always have brilliant things to say. I’ve gotten over my fear now, and spend part of every day commenting. I’ll bookmark this post to come back to for inspiration.
    .-= Charlotte Rains Dixon´s last blog post ..Transparency, or a Book Review =-.

  17. I should also add that making a good comment on a blog post is NOT about advertising your product! But I guess people who are spamming the comments section with advertisements aren’t concerned with making good comments or contributing to the discussion…
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How to Set New Goals When Your Old Goals Aren’t Working =-.

  18. JC ~ thanks for your comment, I’m glad this post helped! I, too, get tired of vague clues about how to do or achieve something. Asking the blogger to be more specific not only contributes to the comments section, it helps you learn!

    Thursday ~ agreed: “nice post” doesn’t add much to the conversation. One of my pet peeves is when people add a similar sentiment to a forum discussion — especially if I click in, thinking a new point has been added.

    Josi ~ I’m glad you’re “healed.” Cool! :-)

    Henya ~ I know how you feel — sometimes I, too, feel like I have nothing to say! I also fear embarrassing myself, or making people angry. But, that’s what writing is all about! We’re sharing our thoughts, perspectives, tips, and lives with the public……and if we’re afraid of the consequences, then we’ll never be the writers we want to be. I hope you do write more in your blog — you might want to start with small, impersonal posts. And, you could also practice by making comments on blog posts, like you did here!

    Thanks, everyone, for chiming in :-)

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How to Set New Goals When Your Old Goals Aren’t Working =-.

  19. You have helpful points here. The debilitating feeling that I am not as good a writer as the next person is restricting on so many levels. One of which is not writing in my blog. I feel that I have nothing good enough to say, I might make embarrassing mistakes…

    Reading your post allows me to face my fears, and maybe even write more in my blog.

    Thanks

  20. Good Post, Dude! :-)

    Really, you have some great tips here. Thanks for sharing. I sometimes get so caught up in writing my own blogs I forget to put the right thought into the comments. You’ve healed me, however!

  21. These are all really solid tips. I can’t tell you how often I see a comment on one of the blogs I write for that amounts to “nice post” and nothing more. I’ve even worked at a couple of sites that delete comments that don’t add to the discussion!
    .-= Thursday Bram´s last blog post ..Ask Me Anything: Networking for Clients and Setting Rates =-.

  22. I can SO relate to this: “They must push beyond their limits and go beyond their comfort zone.” A good comment on this blog post could flesh out what this actually means. How do writers leave their comfort zones and do things that other writers aren’t willing to do? Give examples. Offer suggestions. Ask questions.”

    So many times I read something, looking for answers, and all I find are clues! No specifics or ideas to get started with. Love this post!

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